Saks Fifth Avenue, Houston is the fourth largest grossing Saks in the United States. The Houston retail location was in need of an iconic design for the new restaurant that would match the contemporary and classic redesign of the store. 51Fifteen Cuisine & Cocktails and Bar 12 were redesigned to service food and drinks for Saks’ high-end, international and repeat clientele. Nina Magon, Creative Director & Principal of Contour Interior Design, along with her talented team, were hired to conceptualize and design both the interior architecture and interior design of the space.
The concept behind the design was to embody the style of Saks by combining classic elements with modern design. The new design comes with many upgrades including a private lounge, two separate dining areas, a larger bar, and an expanded dining room with a variety of seating options. Incorporating the cuisines theme of regional concepts with global inspirations allowed the design team to combine mid-century modern pieces such as the Saarinen chairs by Knoll and the famous Serge Mouille light fixtures, with the classic colour scheme of grey, black, brass and white stone, into one cohesive design.
Throughout the restaurant the use of brass detailing creates an upscale feel, the Dekton material mimics the sophistication of classic Carrara marble, and the repetitive use of hexagon and octagon shapes adds an element of playfulness. The entryway is extremely dramatic as it invites restaurant goers into the space to a clustered blossom lighting installation by LightArt. The use of a large-scale Wall & Deco super graphic wallpaper in the lounge echoes the blossom theme from the entryway. The restaurant seats 170 guests and is 8,500 square-feet. The total budget for this project was $2.5 million.
The new restaurant design comes with many new upgrades including a private lounge area and two separate private dining areas available for event space reservation, and vastly larger bar and dining room area for customers to sit and enjoy a variety of seating options. Incorporating the cuisines theme of regional concepts with global inspirations allowed the design team to combine mid-century modern pieces. This design works so well because it is able to successfully balance the classical and timeless style of Saks Fifth Avenue with more avant-garde and risqué design features. By sticking to a classical palette such as grey, white and blue, the designers had the opportunity of experimenting with different design texture that would create a bold effect on the overall look of the place. The juxtaposition between classic and modern makes this space interesting and unique.